It almost feels like we completely skipped over fall and found ourselves barreling head first into winter like a kid on an out of control snow sled. With more and more cold days on the horizon, now is the time to make sure all your heating equipment is safe to operate and ready to go when you need it.
You don’t want to learn that your furnace needs to be repaired by spending a freezing night regretting not having found out sooner.
Keeping the Home Fires Burning
There’s nothing like a toasty fire roaring in the fireplace, except maybe for forced air heating that distributes heat evenly throughout the house. While old-fashioned fireplaces are romantic, but they’re not the most efficient heat sources out there — that’s why forced air heating was invented and is subsequently the best thing imaginable when there’s snow on the ground.
Most of the time, the furnace and blower are the kinds of things people really pay zero attention to. You just set the thermostat and magic heat comes out of the vents. You may have never even given a second thought to any sort of maintenance plan for this equipment at all.
Getting your furnace ready for the big chill isn’t all that difficult and takes just a little time. All you need to stay warm all winter are these two simple (not so secret) steps:
1. Remember the little things, they matter a lot. Check your furnace filter! Whether it’s just a little dirty or has three inches of dust on it, go ahead and change it out. This is a good time to consider investing in an electrostatic filter that allows you to clean and reuse it again and again. An electrostatic filter can be washed often, keeping the air cleaner and making it easier for the furnace to do its thing.
While you’re at it, don’t forget your condensation line. If you just said, “My what?” take a look around the furnace until you find a tube or plastic pipe that goes from it to a pump or drain. That little tube tends to accumulate algae and other build-up, until it plugs entirely. Running vinegar through it once a month will help keep it flowing freely and your furnace performing at its best by moving any condensation away from the system. This is especially important if you’re using a heat pump, since it’s essentially an air conditioner with a valve that can go either forward or reverse, depending on your desired results.
2. Put together your heating backup plan. This goes double if you live somewhere very cold, like Colorado. If you live somewhere that’s not really cold at all, like Texas, your plan could be buying a coat. In the colder states, you’ll want to choose an alternative heating source in case your furnace goes out. Even with a thorough inspection, you could have a small, but important, part go bad, throwing your furnace all out of whack.
If you don’t already have a favorite HVAC pro, it’s high time you found one. You could ask your neighbors, but why not start with our HomeKeepr app? We have a list of trusted HVAC specialists who would love to help get your home winter ready! Download the app today, or give us a call and we can point you in the right direction!
Conrad Smith – Owner
Your Real Estate Consultant
REALTOR®, BOLD, EcoBroker, CNE, CHRE, ILHM, KW Luxury
Professional Denver Real Estate for the Urban at Heart